(Posted July 27, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
A band with Madison County ties is making a return trip to perform at the Ohio State Fair.
The Sterling Bluegrass Boys will play two 30-minute shows at noon and 2 p.m. Aug. 2 in the Coca Cola Pavilion at the south end of the state fairgrounds near the food court. This marks the third time the band has gigged at the state fair.
“I consider us to be very fortunate to be doing this for the third time,” said Danny Crawford, a Mount Sterling resident who sings and plays rhythm guitar for the band.
The group’s line-up also includes Gordon Payne of Madison Mills on fiddle, Dave Huffman of Washington Court House on banjo and vocals, Jerry Wing of New Martinsburg on bass, and Denver Hixon of Washington Court House on dobro.
“We’re all retired and just enjoy doing it,” said Crawford, who formed the band 15 years ago.
He had thumbed around on guitar for years, but had never been part of a full-fledged band when he decided to get some guys together and give it a whirl.
“I wanted to be involved in music anyway I could. I said, ‘If it turns out I’m not good enough to play, then I’ll carry equipment just for the chance to be a part of it,’” he said.
Apparently, Crawford had the musical chops necessary to make a go of it, as did his bandmates. For the past decade and a half, they’ve been playing fairs, festivals, weddings, and private events. They’ve played for veterans at the VA Hospital in Chillicothe and share their talents with rest home residents several times a month. They’ve also made appearances at the Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Kentucky.
The Ohio State Fair runs through Aug. 7. The fairgrounds and Ohio Expo Center is located at 717 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus. Admission to the fair is $10 for adults ages 13-59, $8 for ages 60 and older, $8 for children ages 5-12, and free for children younger than 5. Go to http://ohiostatefair.com.